Each account can have an optional alternate emergency contact, which is the email address of someone who you are authorizing to take certain very specific actions related to that account if you are unavailable:
- If something is down or disabled and they inquire, we may explain what the problem is and what they may be able to do about it, if anything.
- We will help them deposit funds into the account if it is empty or nearly empty. (Nearly empty = below the lowest account balance warning.)
- We will allow them to authorize the renewal of expired or nearly expired domains on that account using funds on that account. (Nearly expired = set to "manual renewal" and generating renewal warnings.)
- We may allow them to take or authorize other actions necessary to preserve the account or the operability of the services it funds. In cases like this, if we think something fits the spirit of the alternate emergency contact, we will ask both them and you if it should be done, and it will only be allowed if they say yes and you don't respond within a reasonable time depending on the urgency of the situation -- defaulting to 24 hours.
These are the only circumstances where the alternate emergency contact can be used. Alternate emergency contacts cannot: close accounts or request refunds, request inbound or outbound domain transfers, or delete anything. The emergency contact role is limited to preserving what's already there. Even so, human factors and judgment are involved, so you should not make someone an emergency contact unless you trust them and their judgment; you will ultimately be responsible for whatever they do, because you authorized them to do it.
This feature is intended to allow a level of resilience in the case of accounts held on behalf of businesses or customers where the member responsible for the account might go on vacation or otherwise be unavailable when something goes awry. It does not change the ultimate responsibility for the account and its assets at all; specifically, the alternate emergency contact does not create any sort of shared or simultaneous control of the account.
The emergency contact need not be a NearlyFreeSpeech.NET member already, though we may ask them to create a membership if necessary to perform a certain function, like making a deposit.
Do not enter your own email address as the emergency contact. The emergency contact is the person we contact when you are unreachable. Telling us to contact you when you are unreachable serves no purpose.